Bilbao, Huelva or Cádiz, more threatened than was believed by the floods caused by the climate crisis

  • The world’s population at risk of high tides every year goes from 80 to 300 million. The worst stop zone in Southeast Asia, according to a study published in Nature Communications
  • In Spain, Doñana, the Ebro Delta, the estuary of Bilbao, Santander or the coast of Cádiz and Huelva appear in red on the risk map for 2050
  • Spanish exposed to flooding from the sea at the end of the century between 340,000 and 690,000, as much emissions are cut CO 2

The rise in sea level caused by the climate crisis predicts worse consequences than had been calculated so far: it can triple the number of people at risk of regular flooding due to the flooding of the oceans, as a new observation tool has revealed whose results published on Tuesday the journal Nature Communications.

The calculation makes the world population living in areas where the rise in the sea would lead to an annual flood in 2050, from 80 to 300 million people. The worst part is taken by the countries of Southeast Asia – where there are points of high population density such as Bangkok or Shanghai – but, in Spain, the projection on the map shows how water could advance through Doñana and the mouth of the Guadalquivir to Almost Coria del Río (Seville). Similarly, large areas affected by the coast of Cádiz and Huelva appear. The entire Ebro Delta (Tarragona) is reflected as highly vulnerable to the advance of seawater.

What this new job does is recalculate the areas whose relief makes them vulnerable and the people who live there. The technical improvement in analyzing the danger of rising sea levels is given because, previously, ground observations using satellites could interpret treetops or building roofs as ground level.

Climate Central analysts who have operated the model estimate that, within 30 years, 210,000 people in Spain will live in lines with annual floods and 340,000 by the end of the 21st century if CO 2 emissions are kept high, but within a scenario stable. In case of greater instability – the current national reduction plans advance warming of the Earth above 3ºC when the optimum objective is 1.5ºC – the number goes to 690,000 people, according to the study.

“Even with drastic and immediate cuts in emissions [of greenhouse gases], the average sea level will rise 0.5 meters in the remainder of the century,” explain those responsible for the study presented Tuesday. Spain, with 10,000 kilometers of coastline, is very exposed to the deterioration of the oceans.

In addition to Doñana, the Ebro Delta or the southwest coast of Andalusia, the projections alert urban centers such as Avilés, Santander, the estuary of Bilbao and, the now sadly famous, Manga del Mar Menor. The entire coast of the Iberian Peninsula is dotted with red areas where the high sea threatens to enter.

The UN warned in its special report on climate change and the oceans last September that the rise in sea level has become unstoppable and called on governments’ “urgent and ambitious” measures. His study already explained that large sea floods whose frequency was once a century would become annual phenomena by 2050.

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